"Pixel 3 and 3 XL: CNET editors react"
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Pixel 3 and 3 XL: CNET editors react
Google has announced the pixel three and pixel three XL.
I have the XL here with the notch and we have a lot of thoughts about this phone.
We've we've had plenty of time to come up with thoughts because the device has been leaked for weeks and weeks and weeks.
The unboxing has turned out to be real.
The leaks look exactly like the device.
What you think of it?
It looks like the pixel Two with some minor refinements.
So of course we have the notch screen on this at 6.3 inch XL- The Pixel 3 has a 5.5 inch screen.
On the back, you still have Google's two tone display, as they're calling it, or two tone color.
Which just means there's a glassy part on the back, and then this matte part.
This part has actually shrunk, it's gotten smaller every single iteration, 12.2 mega pixel camera on the back.
But the back also is all glass, Google has some kind of special
Etching with the glass so that you can actually finally have wireless charging in a Pixel.
It's the first Pixel to have wireless charging, is that right?
Yes, that's true, and it's great because it means that it brings the Pixel kind of up to the level of some of the other flagship phones.
And Google's, in fact, even selling
A Pixel stand for $79 that kinda has some Pixel only special effects I guess you could call it.
Yeah, but it's still a standard [UNKNOWN] charges.
So if you have another device like an iPhone X you could put it on there.
So it's not a bad investment but when you have a Pixel plus the stand it has that kinda glanceable ambient mode where you can just see notifications across the room.
I think it's a pretty cool idea.
I think so too.
That's not what's gonna get people to buy the phone.
I think the camera is something that Google is really trying to sell.
And notice of course that this is a flagship device with one camera on the back.
That's a rarity at this point.
It really is.
You've got HuaWei, you've got LG coming upwith three cameras on the back.
And there's speculation that a Samsung phone is gonna have Four cameras on the back.
And here you've got Google basically thumbing its nose at everybody else, saying, with your four cameras, or three cameras, we can do all of that or more with just one.
One camera and a ton of crazy software, plus one piece of hardware
That image processing chip.
They talked very little about it with the 2, and they talked a lot about it with the 3, and it's supposed to make everything so much more amazing with one camera.
That seems really strange that they could push it, do you think that's going to work?
I mean I think Google has a really great track record with photography of the pixels.
And I think that Google's bread and butter is its software, right.
That's where its prowess is, that's where it came from.
The hardware is just a conduit to get to the software.
It's got a lot of AI, it's really ahead of the others in that.
I think one thing that really stood out is for a long time we've been saying that the pixel phones are really great at low light photography.
And Google is calling this feature Night Sight.
Basically saying, you'll never need a flash again because our low light photos are so good and so bright.
You know, Samsung's phones tend to I guess overbrighten those low light scenes so they sometimes seem really A natural, I'm really looking forward to what this phone can do.
If it can live up to that promise.
Yeah, I mean google was really boastful with that.
They were saying, we start with the world's greatest camera first, put it into the phone, saying that you'll never use a flash again with this kind of software improvements.
That's really, really bold.
If that's possible, that would be very impressive, becasue iPhones have always been really great when it came to cameras.
Samsung has really come close to it.
Pixels have been great and this is a lot of bragging that they have to live up to.
So what's interesting is though even though Google only wants to have one camera on the back, there are these two camearas upfront on both the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL.
These are eight-megapixel lenses.
Much more noticable on this guy.
It looks like a robot face to me constantly.
I can't unsee the face.
That we see it.
I see, I see it, I see it definitely.
So the whole point is that there's a second telephoto lens so that's there's depth to your portraits and you can, to your portrait shots but also more importantly so that you can have a wider angle to take either you and all of your friends or more room for your background landscape.
>. And we tested out a bunch like during the actual live event and we're messing with this and I was way off in the corner.
And as we zoomed out, you could see way more people behind you.
So much more is captured without having to have a selfie stick.
I think people are actually gonna use that a lot.
I think so too.
And you know, Google's not the first company to have this.
This was a page taken out of LG's book.
But it could be the case of either the Apple effect, where the Pixel phones popularize this in other devices.
So form a hardware perspective what we're looking at is something really iterative.
Probably gonna be a lot better than last years Pixel 2 but no real killer feature here.
Yeah it's kind of a nice design.
Let's talk a little bit about the software though right?
Yeah absolutely I have some feelings about Android Pi on this device.
I think that the gesture controls are pretty good.
Not as fluid as what Apple has and not as fluid as what's in other Android phone makers have used as well.
So for example, you swipe up and then it just kind of like stops.
It bounces back at you.
And if you wanna go to the app tray and see all of your apps, you have to swipe up again.
And also you can slide right on this kind of Home button.
But you can't slide left.
You have to press this back arrow.
And I just feel like others have done this better.
Why is Google doing this to us?
Yeah, Google's using their Android Pie, which ditches the Home button in general.
Now they have this little dash, thing that you can move around.
It's being a pill because it doesn't work both ways.
And you're right, it's a strange kind of version of Android pie.
Because considering it's Googles, why doesn't it work as well as others but I think that's gonne be some interesting back and forth between the first buyers of this device and Google to see if they can change this for 9.1.
Maybe it will be a little cleaner.
Yeah, that will be really interesting to see it's true.
Some other software that definitely stood out also was, well, you can now Shhh your phone.
You can silence an incoming call by turning the phone over.
That's not new to the phone industry, but it is new to Pixel.
And I was wondering who you really liked.
Yeah, when we wanna Shhh things it's nothign better than a call screening kinda thing.
I cannot believe the demo that they showed.
When you get a call you can actually essentially tell your Pixel Yeah I ask who this is and what you're calling for and then you can choose with a bunch of little options how to response that, that was a really interesting way to make it.
So basically like sujection like smart reply.
How to make your phone work for you better and I though that was organic with the whole presentation and that's a really cool feature.
It would be really interesting to see how that works and if you are able to part so robot calls for like you know accidentally.
Asking Grandma who that really is.
Obviously women have somebody from your inbox who you know but being the call you don't know.
But what if it's the doctor's office?
Or the pharmacy?
This isn't somebody you necessarily wanna robocall.
You want to be there to pick that up.
So it will be interesting to see how many false positives You know false negatives there are in that case.
And that's coming to Pixel first, and that's the thing, is Google going to give that out as a feature somewhere else?
I don't know if they will, but it's gonna be on the Pixel.
One thing we haven't talked about yet is pricing, and this is a real hot button issue.
So $799 brings you the 64 gigabyte version of three, it goes all the way up to 999 for the top of the line, 128
Of the XL, but there's no way to increase a storage, it's, these are your options, and so it seems a little bit limited don't you think?
I do think that, because I've done a comparison with the total storage capacity
Capacity for other phones.
And even the LG v40 only has a 64 gigabyte option, that's your only option.
But it will take micro SD card.
So you're taking all of these amazing shots, you can save in raw, but where do you put it if you run out.
Google's saying, well, you can go ahead and use unlimited Google photos cloud storage.
But, you can't save everything that way, and what if you don't want to?
You just don't have as many options.
You've got that, and you might have issues with your wireless carrier.
I don't know what your data plan's like.
I don't know what your speeds are like.
If you're shooting 4k, and your sending it up to the cloud, that might be a problem over time.
So, I think it's a weak kind of answer for their shortage on storage, but It is what it is.
I think another theme taht's really interesting and worth noting is that this is one of the few flagship phones, truly flagship phones taht starts at under a $1,000.
We've seen the price of phones creeping up and up and up and up and it almost sddoesn't matter who you are and even though it gets really close on the 128 gigabite version of the Pixel 3 XL.
It doesn't start off there, so you can still save a few hundred dollars by getting the Pixel.
And you have the benefit of everything that Google offers.
Which is, of course, the security updates that are more timely and the Android updates that are also before any other phone.
That's the other thing about the Pixel 3 versus the XL.
Hardware-wise, they're not tremendously different, you're not really doing a lot of trade-offs other than size of screen maybe and size of battery.
So even if you wanted this power and you wanted the cameras, you're getting essentially the same thing at $799, which is I think a little easier for people to jump onboard with.
The Pixel phones are coming out right when we're about to go into a big holiday crunch, and there's already a ton of competition.
We've got Samsung phones out there, we've got LG, we've got iPhones, we're got an iPhone XR that's coming around
The same time as the pixel at 749.
So that's another competitor around the same time.
We've got the web plus 16 that's coming up as well and c net was the first to report that that's going to come for 550 dollars so that
Lots more responsive than the past OnePlus, but that's still cheaper than this Pixel phone, and there's a lot that it can offer Android enthusiasts.
And a Pixel phone seems to appeal to a wide array of people.
It's either somebody looking for a budget phone, pure Android phone, or they want the top of the line phone.
So they're competing against
Everybody which is a very, very difficult field to take on.
And in the U.S. this phone's also an interesting sales position because Verizon is the exclusive carrier.
You can also buy it unlocked from google store or you could get it from google's project five with the project five sim card.
Yeah and the wireless carriers are probably going to do some crazy holiday promotions that these new top of the line phones will be like a bogo or you'll get one for half priced.
You get a whole bunch of really good deals On really the phones.
I think you've hit it right on the nose and that those holiday promos are going to change the pricing dynamic.
Or they're gonna mess with Google's plans entirely.
Now our reviews are ongoing on the Pixel 3 and the 3 XL.
Come back to CNET for the full rate of reviews.
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